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Arefeh Riahi

The Ongoing Conversation #2.3

Between ... And Hiatus


20/02/2015 –
– 30/11

The artist writes:
Let’s begin with my mother’s hairbrush: an oblong plastic brush with undulating patches where the material had probably been melted from a casually misplaced cigarette now and then. It was green, which earned it its title of being the green brush. Upon my mother’s purchase of a new brush, the green one was promptly confiscated by my brother and I. On the childish high of a ping-pong obsession, we adopted the green brush as a ping-pong paddle.
Such a gesture reminds me of the occasion I encountered an old ceramic flush tank being employed as a peculiar flower pot in the garden – an object that had once possessed a distinct functionality now serving an alternative purpose. One could say that once the dominance of an object’s default use fades, a myriad of other possibilities come into existence, and thus everything acquires the status of being a container – regardless of the specifications of the object’s actual physicality – a container of possibilities.
Yet one cannot go as far as to declare that an object possess infinite routes of ‘becoming’, for structures are always framed and restrained by the nature of their material and physical properties; this, however, gives rise to a question: can one go beyond the boundaries – the limitations – of a structure through manipulation, and furthermore once we enter that subject of alternative use, how do we refer to the structure? Do we refer to it still with the verbal parameters of its default function, or do we make a new word to signify it, or rather do we make an amalgamation of both? It is a middle ground: neither something specific and yet many things at the same time.

The Ongoing Conversation II offered a series of fast-paced one-day exhibitions conceived as a platform to show and share the interest of ongoing artistic research.
In the seven short exhibitions, the seven graduating students of MAR freezed the momentum of their artistic research process to create a decisive entry into the end phase of their explorations. Stringed together over the course of one month, these milestones created a combined itinerary. The exhibitions bring you past sites of contaminated mushrooms, a hot bedroom in Curacao, a reflection on religious power at the European Parliament, a playful ritual, an unfolding of emptiness, a reconstruction of a conceptual architecture from the past and axiological dilemma’s in art and commerce.
This project was the outcome of a collaboration between 1646 and the Master Artistic Research, The Hague.
The Master Artistic Research is a master programme for artists, based at the Royal Academy of Art and the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague.



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